Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October Hand Made at the Great Brewers Grand Prix - Gloucester!

Come check out October Hand Made Bikes, October Factory Racing, and October softgoods at this weekend's Great Brewers Grand Prix of Cyclocross. Race is at Stage Fort Park in beautiful Gloucester, MA. We'll for sure be missing the Rocky Mountain Division of the October Family, but we know they'll be here in spirit. So come cheer on Lyne, Kate, and Linnea as they have at it against other Elite women. Check out the event on Facebook, the interwebs, and also check out the entire Verge New England schedule from the good folks at Cycle-Smart.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Waterville Valley CX

Beautiful day; great course; equal payout. Definitely worth the trip.

[from Kris Dobie Photography]

Did the sweet wheels and pimpin' frame justice with my first win on US soil this year.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

An Apple to A Kiwi...

October Jet-Setter, dual citizen, and overall cross phenom Linnea Koons threw it down at New Zealand's second ever Championships of Cyclocross! Linnea won the women's title - making her the New Zealand Woman's Champion of Cyclocross, I'd imagine. Also, October Homeboy, who just so happens to be Linnea's un-better half, Colin Reuter also had his way with the New Zealand-ish mud. Not doubt Colin will share his perspective in that oh so Colin way on his blog.
CX Magazine has a nice story about the event here.

The October Family is hoping you both had an amazing trip - but we can't wait to have you back!!!

Much Love,
October Cross

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wend Magazine - October Connection

Indeed - that is our very own World's Greatest Adventurer (who, by the way, is currently in India where she is, uh, well adventuring) Kate Harris featured on the cover, and with the major story inside the current issue of Wend Magazine. Great publication, amazing story... The October Family is very proud. Get to the newsstand to pick it up; check it out here, or learn straight from Kate here.

Keep an eye out for Kate and the entire October Factory Racing team this fall in the Verge New England cyclocross series, as well as other major races.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

What is it with Leadville…it’s a fitness truth sector.

What is it with Leadville…it’s a fitness truth sector. I take my spirit, mind and body to 10,000ft for a starting line and there is no kidding anyone on the reality of my condition. Truth!

Motivation for the 2009 Silver Rush 50 mtb event was purely to ‘see if I can.’ I’ve taken on a few running ultras though never a bike ultra. Leadville seemed appropriate. I had also just received my super sweet October Hand Made Bikes titanium team race bike on Wednesday of the week prior to start. Tricked out with a burly set of Chris King hubs, laced to bomb-proof Edge carbon mtb rims and finished with a SRAM X-0 kit, the master Andrew has given me no excuses! Bring it, I said lovingly.

So in quality Leadville Ultra style they start the Silver Rush 50 at the base of the town tubing hill. No pedaling from the gun, first off is a run up a loose, rocky wall! As if this is required to go anaerobic at 10000ft?! It’s really a power scramble for a couple minutes then launch-it cyclocross style and rock-n-roll! We spin out the legs from the run-up before entering Iowa Gulch, the first climb to about 12000ft. It’s very sweet ripping this on a ti hardtail, I sense no power loss moving through this frame, I pedal we all go forward. Lost in the shuffle of a ‘race’ I was tapping along a nice cadence then suddenly take a little tip-over spill on some of the loose scree we are now climbing. I’ll pass a universal kudo to the rider behind me as he asked if I was good, then said ‘beautiful up here isn’t it?’ Darn right, and I was forgetting to absorb the beauty and simply focusing on a steady race cadence. New plans evolved, a little race oriented sight seeing ~ it’s stunning to pedal along at 12000ft and be surrounded by yet higher peaks!

After topping out the first climb, it was time to fly down a 3 ½ mile mining road, and whoop-de-do, does this October hard tail fly! Great fun after a long climb and much more to come! The gist of Leadville is: gun shot start at 10000ft, climb to 12000ft and then tear down to 10500ft, now climb back to 12000ft before screaming down to the turn- around at 11000ft. Repeat: drag back to 12000ft puff down to 10500ft before crawling back to 12000ft and then sailing down to the start at 10000ft! I found my truth in the up-downs!

Dropping over the saddle behind Ball Mountain to the decent and turn- around was a change of tactics. Time to shut down the tapping cadence rhythm and FOCUS! We are now ripping down so loose, rocky double track with no room for error. I decided to float to the outside of the double track, ping a rock hiding in the weeds and launch myself over the edge! Oh yea, eloquent plans! Thank God and the Universe I only encountered a cheeky, rock scuff and top tab removed number plate, I was now the guy with his number plate on upside down. Lucky and all good, now back to the downhill ripper.

I managed an uneventful venture from here to the turn-around. Meeting my super star support staff and hammer wife, Dana had pedaled up to take a few photos and cheer me on! A couple miles of pedaling at 11000ft to grab a photo and give a shout out ~ I’m a lucky racer/rider! Photo op’, refuel and spirited power kiss…I’m off for the 25 miles of return excitement. It had entered my mind on the knarly decent to the turn-around, how do we ride back up that ‘crud?’ I quickly found out. It’s a push! Probably 20 minutes of pushing to get back over the 12000ft saddle near Ball Mountain. Then the riding begins again.

I was stoked on the solid feel that my October Hand Made Bikes hard tail was delivering. Confidence to descend with the FS’ers and nimble power to pick them off on any climb! It was definitely sweet and I have to give a shout out to Andrew for living his dream and providing such a solid comfortable race machine.

Rallying on, the race ebbs and flows through the abandoned mining regions east of Leadville, some super double track and fast mining roads are the primary deliverance of adventure! Quickly refueling at the last aid station and tossing out the ‘it’s all downhill from here’ joke. The response from the volunteers was commending my memory loss. Yes, we had one long gradual climb back to 12000ft before the downhill began, now it’s truth time! My body had done well, the mind was playing nice games and it was time to draw up the spirit. The climb began and just never, ever ended! Pedaling was smooth but the mosquitoes were chewing me alive. I felt like I was the only one riding slow enough to allow the mosquitoes to hang with me! Just then a rider pedals up next to me and shouts out, “these mosquitoes are killing me worse than the climb!” We joked a bit before puffing, I gasped a question regarding the top-out of this climb. He provided a sweet reply, not 50yds up the road was the turnoff to the valley descent and primarily ‘all downhill from here!” So now we’re tearing down the rocky terrain. I’m feeling good and the bike is eating this terrain up! Stoked for the energy my spirit is delivering!

Suddenly, I feel a little thud from the rear…then again...and again! Ah, bean dip! Yup, a flat. A couple more solid knocks on the rocks before I get shut down and I’m eeking over the carbon rims taking these hits. Now mind you, I just received this bike 2 days before the event, no tire changing had taken place. I had a few fatigue induced fumbles and follies, then started getting a little bummed as the riders were tearing by me! I knew I was close and the urge to run in to the finish took hold of my ultra runner mind! Regroup time, I put the Zen focus back on the task at hand; de-tubed, scoped the rim, SOLID with not a flaw detectable, yea EDGE! Now tubed, aired and outied! I’m flying to the finish line and riding like a geologist, every rock was inspected as I couldn’t hit another or I would be running to the finish!

I was in a rider-void and enjoyed the solitude that Leadville often provides when racing, it’s quite beautiful and amazing. Hundreds of racers and you find moments when you are completely alone among abandoned mines and mountain tops, that’s also a bit of ‘leadville and this guy!’ I pedal on, soon to regroup with a small pack of riders, we have about 1 mile to go. The lead single speed female rider is with us and tells us she’ll be going slow so we should push on. As she drops the small group I’m barely able to hang on, she tells me to go for it because she’ll be slow on the final decent. I mentioned I WAS going for it, just wasn’t going FAR! Side by side into the final decent I pull up behind and chuckle; single speed, 10-12k elevation, up down…

I pull into the finish and am greeted by my rock-star wife, who now is cleaned up and recovered from her two big rides to grab the photos ~ I mentioned I’m lucky, correct!?! It’s story time and high fives around. Awesome for all finishers of this ride!

I truly loved the adventure and am quickly looking for my next epic. I thank you Andrew for all you have done to create such an amazing race machine and so well spec’d out!
Kudos to Chris King for the stellar mandarin hubs and headset, Edge for the bomb-proof carbon rims, SRAM for the knock-out kit … I on!

That best be a wrap, I’ve got to go ride my bike!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What is it with this guy and Leadville?

After waiting far, far too long for his October Factory Racing titanium hardtail, Factory Racer Greg Dalton is going to make up for lost race-time at this weekends Silver Rush 50 in Leadville, CO. Greg, as you may or may not know, is a 24hr finisher of the Leadville 100 Ultra Marathon. I had the, um, pleasure? of trying to pace this guy for a short 8ish mile section after he'd run something like 80 miles. Something about pushing the human body to its limits is what Greg enjoys. Good thing I love the kid, otherwise I'd wonder what's wrong with him! In all seriousness, the East Coast contingent of the October Family is in your corner my friend! We only wish we were there to cheer on our Rocky Mountain Division!!! We'll have to leave that in the capable hands of your lovely wife (and guru of October graphics) Dana!!!

Go Greg Go!!!!!

His weapon of choice: